fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- This email uses a separate reply address that is different from the sender address. Spammers use this to get replies even when the original spam sending accounts have been shut down. Also, sometimes the sender addresses are legitimate looking but fake and only the reply address is actually an email account controlled by the scammers.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Becky Ochoa" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 12 Nov 2017 09:12:13 +0100
Subject: Re: Settlement fund
I am Becky Ochoa; I am a US citizen, 61 years Old. I reside here in Pierceton, Indiana U.S.A. My residential address is as follows.2944 S State Road 5-57 Pierceton Indiana 46562 United States and my email address is (email@example.com) and my telephone number is (317) 561-1107
I am one of those that fall victim to scammers in Africa two years ago. I have lost over US$74,000 for the past years while in the US, I was trying to get my payment all to no avail and they always stopped my fund with one reason or the order. So I decided to travel with my Son to WASHINGTON D.C with all documents, there the (FBI) was amazed and contacted the Nigeria embassy in the US and after some hours in their office, I was asked by the FBI officer to come back the next week. When I did the FBI officer gave me the contact of one Mr. George Heinen who is a representative of the United States of America Public Affairs Section and a member of the compensation award committee currently in Virginia to handle all unfinished transaction to their respective owners. When I contacted him, he explained everything and told me that who so ever is contacting us through emails outside the US are not real but impersonators that I should fly down to Africa and Nigeria to be precise to see things
for myself which I did a
This was paid to me successfully. Right now I am very happy because I have finally received my compensation fund of US$6,300.000.00. Moreover, George showed me the full Information of those that are yet to receive their compensation fund and this was how I came across your email address and your name.
The only Money I paid after I meet with George Heinen was just $656 for the ownership paper works. So I am advising you to contact George through his office email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) for your own money including the money you lost to those scammers. You can as well call him on his office number (757) 794 2438 please take it very serious. Contact him right now and send your telephone number and your residential address to him for him to commence with the preparation of the ownership paper work with your information.
Thank you & God bless you.
2944 S State Road 5-57 Pierceton Indiana 46562
Call or Text me: (317) 561-1107